Thursday, September 29, 2005

Quote of the Day: Belief and Reason

"Rely not on the teacher, but on the teaching. Rely not on the words of the teaching, but on the spirit of the words. Rely not on theory, but on experience. Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. Do not believe anything because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything because it is written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and the benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it."

- the Buddha


via Metafilter

7 comments:

Ben Avuyah said...

This should be the preamble to any institution of religious learning. It's conspicious abscence from any such institution shows religions true colors: Indoctrination and brain washing.

Sadie Lou said...

Santa Clause, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy would hate this quote and parents should be ashamed of themselves for brain washing their children and tricking them into believing that something exists when it doesn't.

JC Masterpiece said...

But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and the benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.

Unfortunately, there are many ways of defining and looking at both reason and "the good and the benefit of one and all". A person can make "reason" fit whatever bias they choose whether they are religious or not. And many people have done horrible things in what they actually believed to be the "good and benefit of all"

Just look at the two primary Communistic states of the last century and what they have done at times at the expense of their own people. Talk about " Indoctrination and brain washing" as one has so eloquently put it. There are numerous, numerous other examples of this such as Hitler's purge of Germany, some of the horrific actions by past Monarchies and even this country has done this in Manzanar and the other Japanese internment camps during WWII.

Sherry said...

Years ago I read something to the effect that a person's goal should not be to "follow" a leader, but to , in essense, "become your own guru"---in that you strive to be not only pupil but teacher, which, in consideration, leaves NO room for "do as I say, not as I do. Living life under the, of all things, witch's credo, "do what you will but harm none", you CAN learn, and quickly, THAT MUCH of any organized religion WAS organized for a reason---"harm" that befell, a side effect of that religion. (Slavery, for example.) Enjoyed your site.

JC Masterpiece said...

"do what you will but harm none"

That's an interesting philosophy. Is that a Wicken philosophy or yours? I would hate to think that that's a wicken philosophy because the wickens that i have come across all seem to have pretty serious grudges against one person or another and definitely don't attempt to live this out.

As for the philosophy, it concerns me a little. How can a person "do what they will, but harm none"? Everything a person does has effects that go beyond themselves. Thus without intending to almost anything a person does can harm someone else.

Also, doing good for one person often harms another. For instance, a group of witches (i forgot what it was called, i keep wanting to say quorum but i'm pretty sure that can't be right) is trying to help one of the girls get a certain guy. So they cast a few spells, do their thing all in attempt to manipulate this guy into doing what they want. Some obvious questions come out of this. If you are trying to manipulate and control the free will of another without that person's knowledge and consent, isn't that doing harm. What about the ex-girlfriend that gets dumped due to the manipulation and attempts to control the guy by the witches. That certainly doesn't fit in with the philosophy of harming none.

Every wicken i have known has attempted to manipulate and control others through their actions regardless of the consequences of their actions to the other person or the people around them. That doesn't seem to fit this "do what you will but harm none" philosophy that you speak about. As i have had limited contact to Wickens in my lifetime this may just be the one's i know, but it seems like most things that witches do are based on manipulation and control, thus goes directly against this philosophy.

DNA said...

Where's the quote from?

Jewish Atheist said...

Hmm, I really have no idea. I just saw it on metafilter.